A top doctor on a government advisory panel recently revealed that the made-in-India Biological E vaccine is expected 90 per cent effectiveness against coronavirus and will be a game-changer in the fight against the pandemic. The vaccine is entering Phase 3 trials and could be available by October, said NK Arora, chairperson of the Centre’s Covid Working Group.
Dr. Arora has recently revealed to the media that Biological E’s vaccine is to be called Corbevax which is similar to the Novavax vaccine which is more than 90 per cent effective including against coronavirus variants, according to the company reports. The Serum Institute of India will be producing Novavax in India, which also makes Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield.
In a recent interview with NDTV Dr. Arora said, “Novavax (of Serum Institute) is very exciting. In the past week it has created a rage because India is going to manufacture almost a billion doses a year. It is going to be simple and cheaper with a 90 per cent vaccine effectiveness.”
“A very similar Indian vaccine is also under phase 3 trial, which is the Bio E vaccine. These vaccines are exciting because we have previous experience on a similar platform. They are safe across the age groups and have very high effectiveness,” he said.
Dr. Arora, who is also the Chairperson of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) which guides the government on matters related to vaccination, “Bio E will be out likely in October with an efficacy matching Novavax’s. In other words, 90 per cent. They are moving to stage 3 trials soon.”
The vaccine which is being developed by the Hyderabad-based Biological E. which is also called Bio E, may be sold at an extremely low ₹ 250 for two doses.
“The Indian mRNA vaccine is in phase 2. We will have it by September. It is more compatible with the Indian setting in storage, transport and shelf life.”
The world will ultimately depend on India for affordable and effective vaccines against coronavirus, said Dr. Arora and he believed that there is a strong chance that it will behave the best results.
India’s own messenger RNA-based Covid vaccine to be manufactured by Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals and the other that he referred to were Zydus-Cadila’s product.
Dr. Arora told NDTV said his assertion predicated on India’s own requirements being fulfilled first. “This may sound presumptuous. Ultimately the world will be dependent on us for vaccines. It is very premature, very presumptuous,” he further noted.
Heaping praise on the Indian pharmaceutical industry, naming those such as Pune-based Serum Institute and Ahemdabad-based Cadilla Pharma, he expressed excitement about some of their products which could potentially change the dynamics of the battle against the pandemic.